I figured I should be completely honest with our fellow readers. After all, our blog is called Honesty Time right? This blog post is going to be a bit upsetting, at least for me, before it gets better. Don’t worry it will have a bunch of pictures to make it easier. Just hang in there and if you need help with this particular subject, you know whom to ask!
I am just going to jump right in here. In college, we obviously couldn’t have pets, which is the same at home because of our landlords. But, we could always have fish. This was great for me! I love fish! Fish make me abnormally happy. No I am not joking. If I weren’t a crazy starving artist, I would probably have to be either a veterinarian or a marine biologist.
Of course while I was in school, I had a cute little goldfish in a one gallon little bowl. His name was Finnigan and he lived for quite a while. After he died, there were of course a handful of new fish. Some of them lived for a few months at a time and some of them died quickly. However, I was never satisfied with just one fish in one little bowl. I had big fish dreams readers!
For as long as I could remember, I wanted a tank full of amazing fish. For some reason though, I never had enough money to buy one and I felt as though I never had the proper amount of time to devote myself to upkeep. Recently, my dream of owning my own tank came true. This is how it all happened.
Back in November, my boyfriend and my brother were being weridos. For whatever reason I couldn’t figure out why. Yes my birthday was quickly approaching, as it is in the first days of December, and no, I did not have any preconceived notions as to what my boyfriend would do. I honestly didn’t expect anything big, maybe dinner or something small. But the two of them just wouldn’t stop talking about doing “man things.” Which literally drove me crazy because I just did not understand, nor was I invited to do these “man things.”
One day while I was in the shower, my boyfriend and my brother went out to do said “man-things.” When I got out, they were both back and they would not let me leave the bathroom. I saw them bringing buckets of water into my room, I heard plastic snapping, and I honestly could not even imagine the mess they were creating. Finally, after what seemed like forever, I was lead into my room with hands over my eyes. I opened them to find a 10-gallon tank full of mollies and tiger barbs inside! “Man things” turned out to be a surprise early birthday present! I was so happy I cried.
My happy little fish tank quickly turned into a nightmare. After about a month of hard work and dedication on my part, one of the fish developed ICH. For those who do not know, ICH, which appears as little white spots, is one of the most common parasites among aquarium fish. If left untreated it can kill most if not all of your fish and it is contagious! Naturally, I researched everything until there was nothing left to research. I went out to the pet store and bought “Super ICH Cure.” I treated the tank per instructions and even bought aquarium salt because I heard that the salt would kill the parasites that fall off the fish. I even started segregating the poor little sick guys. My hard work and devotion was just not enough. Within weeks, one of the mollies and all of the tiger barbs, which were literally covered in spots, had died. I cannot even express how devastated I was. I had done everything that I could have possibly done and my efforts still proved futile. I felt like a failure for the most part. But, good news in all of this, I did save one mollie! Joon, the female, lived through the ich and is still alive today!
Naturally, I wanted to get more fish because my tank looked so lonely with one little fish. Yes readers I waited a couple of weeks before adding new guys, don’t worry. I went to the pet store and got more and added them to the tank. Guess what…Yupp! They got ICH as well and they all died. Joon, however, never got it again. She lived through another tough round of ICH, while I was left questioning my fish mom abilities.
Finally I was able to put 2 and 2 together. If I was doing everything right and caring for all of fish in the proper way, including continuously checking PH levels, ammonia levels, nitrogen levels, adding aquarium salt, changing 25% of the water, and they were still dying…maybe I was buying fish that were sick or infected from the store!
Turned out that was exactly what had happened! I went to another pet store and explained my sad situation with the tank. They checked my levels and I was able to add only one fish to my tank. The rule of thumb is usually you can add double the amount of fish that you have in your tank so you do not cause them stress. So I added one little guy to the tank so Joon would have a playmate.
After a weird algae bloom, caused by too much natural and artificial light, my tank finally started becoming the happy, fun, and amazing aquarium I had always wanted. I had added a bunch of cool aquarium decorations, live plants, and new rocks! It was finally coming together and I was overjoyed. I got new fish, and one day I felt daring so I also purchased a zig-zag or tire track eel.
Ziggy, as my eel is known as, is probably one of the coolest aquarium pets I have ever owned. He has such a big personality! Of course after I got him, I researched everything I needed to know and found out they can be a little more difficult to take care of. What do I mean you readers may ask? They can jump pretty high in order to get out of the tanks if they feel threatened or daring. After purchasing tire track eels, they are not comfortable in their new environment, which means they will not eat. This could last anywhere from 1-2 full weeks. They require a special kind of food. I feed Ziggy frozen bloodworms. It works out because all of fish love them. It turns into a crazy feeding frenzy. Usually, the fish swim to the top to eat, but once the waterfall from the filter pushes the food down, Ziggy hoards the rest and it is game over for the other guys.
Speaking of filters….Ziggy also figured out a way to get inside of the filter base! No he did not hurt himself. Yes more than once. Let’s just say I was a nervous fish mom wreck the first time he did this because he was nowhere to be found! I thought he was dead under the rocks or jumped out of the tank accidentally. I checked the filter as a last resort and there he was, sticking his head out of the water. He knows to swim quickly into the waterfall, jump to launch his body onto the platform, and then swim in the base of the filter. Luckily it seems as though he has it all figured out.
So here is to my new healthy fish tank! It took hard work, dedication, patience, and persistence to get through some difficult situations. But, I finally found my fish mom happiness!